FOXBORO, Mass. — Unless Armond Armstead or Mark Harrison start practicing on Saturday, it’s looking like the Patriots will be without both first-year players this season.
Neither player was on the practice field on Friday. Armstead and Harrison are on the reserve/non-football illness list. Players on the NFI and PUP lists have until Week 11 (this week) to start practicing. If they don’t start practicing by that point, their seasons are over. Once a player on NFI or PUP starts practicing, a team has three weeks to activate them to the 53-man roster.
Hopes were high for both players coming into the 2013 season. Armstead was signed from the CFL, where he spent a year after leaving USC early after having issues with his heart. He was cleared medically before signing with New England. The Patriots announced in late July that Armstead had surgery to clear an infection and that he would be placed on the non-football illness list. It was not specified where Armstead had an infection.
Harrison broke his foot at the NFL scouting combine last February. He was placed on the non-football injury list when he signed with the Patriots. Harrison went undrafted out of Rutgers. He initially signed with the Bears, but he failed his physical.
Armstead has been spotted around Gillette Stadium as recently as Thursday. Harrison has not been seen in Foxboro for weeks. Since both players are on NFI, meaning they were injured prior to being signed, the Patriots are not required to pay either player.
Steve Gregory was the lone player on the Patriots’ 53-man roster not to practice on Friday. Shane Vereen was practicing once again. Since New England cut LaQuan Williams prior to practice, the Patriots had just 52 active players on the field. They also had all eight practice squad players and Vereen, who is on short-term injured reserve.